I finally got approval from all the families to post the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby pictures. Here is a brief synopsis of their outcomes along with a birth story from one of the moms.
All of these are babies from our Fall 2011 Bradley Method® series. Angelika got to be one of these babies, too! The families enrolled in our classes with the intention of having natural births. However, all of them took to heart our entreaty to evaluate all their decision points with the Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby filter. Most of them deviated from their birth plan, and definitely from what their expectation were…each birth is unique. The beautiful element of these photographs is that these babies are all healthy, and so are their mammas.
I am going to number the babies from left to right. Baby 1 is our longest labor (so far) for this class. This family labored for 51 hours! Mom and Dad labored at home, they went to the hospital and found out they were only 3 centimeters so they followed Berman’s law (go home if your are less than 5 cm dilated and not showing any physical or emotional signs of late labor) and went home. Mom rested, ate, labored and the couple had the support of a wonderful doula. They rested that night and labored at home most of the day. When they went back to the hospital on day 2, mom had not progressed as much as they had hoped but they were past a five so they stayed in the hospital. When they had marked the 48 hour of labor, they opted to have the bag of waters broken to see if that would speed labor. Guess what – the on-call doctor did not want to come in to the hospital so he told the nurse to start a Pitocin drip instead. Mom and Dad evaluated their choices and their wise doula gave them invaluable advice, “Let’s redefine our birth plan and make the adjustment we need to keep the vaginal birth.” Knowing that mom was exhausted physically, and that she had been dilated to 8 cm with no progress for several hours, the parents evaluated their situation and opted for an epidural so that the strong Pitocin-induced contractions wouldn’t sap what was left of mom’s energy. Three hours later they welcomed their son via vaginal birth. He was ready to nurse – Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby.
Baby 2 is our Angélika. Most of the hospital to homebirth stories we heard from families testified to the fact that their home births were significantly faster than their hospital births. No transfer, no poking, no prodding, no weird or distracting noises. So here we are, going into our home birth so excited that we are not going to have to move to the hospital since that had always stalled our labor in the past. Labor starts and it is a completely different pattern than we have ever had before…the water broke at the midway point instead of at the beginning, walking slowed or stopped labor and laying on my side made things move along. By the middle of day 2, I gave up on having the faster homebirth and resigned myself to be the mom that went to sleep and woke up ready to push. You can read the long version here, suffice it to say Angélika was born about five hours after I surrendered and went to bed!
Baby number 3 was born to an experienced birth mom. She has two older boys and this was her third child, dad’s first. She made the decision to switch care providers at 39 weeks! Although she had been with her OB for several years and had even followed her when she went into independent practice, she started to get red flags in her third trimester. They couldn’t agree on her birth plan; and then the doctor wanted to strip her membranes a week before her estimated due date. Mom made the decision to switch providers and moved to an OB recommended by another classmate that still allowed them to deliver at the same hospital. Guess what? This baby was ten days past his due date! Had mom stayed with her first OB, who knows when he would have been born? By changing providers, baby was allowed the time he needed to start labor. This couple opted for a cesarean section to ensure a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. Two factors led to their decision: three hours of pushing with no change in station, plus amniotic fluid that was stained with meconium. “Trust birth” as the saying goes…this young man was born with his cord wrapped not once or twice, but several times around his neck.
Baby 4 was an average length labor with a painful complication. As labor progressed, she had a ring of pain that radiated from her uterus down to her upper thighs. The lower baby dropped and engaged in the pelvis, the more sensation mom lost in her legs! This mom and dad endured 18 hours of posterior labor – I award them the title of “Rock Stars” for staying drug-free for so long. It is truly a testament to her commitment and his coaching. Her midwives recommended an epidural since she was not dilating past an eight. Their baby was born an hour later!
Baby 5 was born to another multipara. This mom was induced with her first baby…and she wrote her story out to share with you:
"Our birth choices were all made with a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome in mind. Our first big decision was choosing a care provider we were comfortable with. We ended up with a wonderful group of midwives who totally supported our birth preferences and were obviously in favor of our choice to have a natural birth. We had started with a group of midwives in Brooklyn, then went to an OB in Phoenix for a couple of months while we waited for our AZ insurance to kick in. This OB was definitely NOT on the same page as we were (he wanted to induce before the new year so we could get a tax break...) so we switched as soon as possible.
When it came to our labor, we chose to hire a doula and labor at home as long as we could so we could avoid any potential pressure from the hospital for interventions. As it turned out, my labor was so short that was pretty easy to do! When we got to the hospital I was already 9 cm, so it was a matter of a little time, then onto pushing, and within the hour Amelia was born. We chose to skip the Hep B vaccine in the hospital, and waived the vitamin K and eye ointment. We know my STD status, so we knew she was at no risk, and we wanted her to be able to see the world as best she could with her newborn eyes! As far as the Vitamin K shot was concerned, we did some research and decided it wasn’t necessary unless she experienced trauma at birth, which she didn’t. We also chose not to bathe her so the vernix could do its job and she wouldn’t experience crazy changes in her body temperature. We have yet to bathe her, and won’t for a while longer.
We also decided to encapsulate my placenta this time around. It was an option presented by our Bradley® instructors, and we were encouraged to do so by our midwife and our doula. We went home from the hospital the day after our birth because Amelia and I were both doing well. I wanted to see my 3 year old, and felt like I would be happier resting and enjoying my family in our own home.
It was a different experience from our first birth. I felt like we were much more informed and able to make more decisions that were Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome-minded. That said, I was induced with my first because of high blood pressure, and while it wasn’t my ideal birth plan, it was a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby based decision. I also got an epidural after nearly 12 hours of a Pitocin induced labor, and I was able to progress quickly after that and go on to have a vaginal delivery. I truly believe that I would have been too exhausted to push had I not gotten the epidural, so again, I don’t regret that decision. An epidural was much more favorable to me than a C section! We did have a doula with our first as well, and she was instrumental in keeping us calm and grounded through uncharted territories!
With our firstborn Max, though, we hadn’t researched the vitamin K shot or the eye ointment, so we did both of those. We also were not informed about the benefits of placenta encapsulation, so it wasn’t even on our radar the first time around. I stayed in the hospital with Max for two nights, and felt like I needed that amount of time!
I definitely liked working with midwives the second time around rather than an OBGYN like we did with Max. I liked my OB with Max, but I was definitely more comfortable with the midwives and felt like we saw eye to eye on our birth choices. If we do have another, we will probably consider a home birth since Amelia’s birth was so fast and relatively easy. That will be a whole new territory to explore, but we’re definitely interested!"
I hope these stories demonstrate the importance of a care provider you trust and have a rapport with, as well as the importance of making the choices to have a Healthy Mom, Healthy Baby outcome. Happy New Year to all these babies and their families – ours has been wonderful so far. Angélika started laughing today – pure joy!
The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation. This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.
March 5, 2012 to May 21, 2012
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